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Massive Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $636 Million; May Reach $1 Billion

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The Mega Millions lottery drawing being held Tuesday night is now for an estimated $636 million, not far from the record $656 million Mega Millions prize awarded in March 2012.

If there’s no winning ticket tonight, then Friday’s drawing could top $1 billion, officials said. One reason for the stunningly large jackpot is that Mega Millions recently changed its rules. Participants used to pick six numbers, from 1-59 each.

Now, however, those numbers range from 1-75.

While the odds of winning used to be about 1 in 176 million, they are now 1 in 259 million. You are more likely to be hit by an asteroid or comet than win this lottery—one thousand times more likely.

But that isn’t stopping people from buying tickets. In fact, the higher the jackpot goes, the more people choose to lay down $1 for a chance at near-unfathomable riches.

Good luck, if you’re still reading this and haven’t already hopped in your car and driven to whatever lottery-ticket seller is closest in Michigan.

Seven states don’t Mega Millions tickets: Mississippi, Alabama, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii.

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